Q is for Quidnunc

quidnunc /kwidˈnungk/
An inquisitive, gossiping person

I’m not much of a gossip. Of course, you’d never know that from the way my characters spill their acquaintances’ secrets like a spring shower: freely and in great quantity.

A character is never safe from being overheard. A brief moment with a trusted relation, revealing their darkest fears and regrets, and surely within the day, a great fissure in what was once their normal life ruptures, forcing them to confront those demons (and give me some entertainment on the side).

However, I would say I’m quite inquisitive. Not in a direct way, but in the way of reading body language and tone. I get more from a person’s habitual motions in a conversation than what they’re actually saying usually, especially when I’ve just met them. I’ve been told I’m fairly good at reading people, and in turn, I’ve learned very precise ways to measure my own emotions, and understand what’s going on inside my head.

I grew up in a household with a very heavy leaning towards Freudian and Jungian psychology (for better or worse) and when I went to college, I also took several courses in clinical psychology. While I rarely use the older forms of psychology for evaluating myself, they are quite useful for dramatic fiction, and so I love getting bogged down in the trenches of my characters’ minds, wondering exactly why they act a certain way, or how they would believably react to any given scenario.

Probably, if I didn’t do this in fiction, I would be forced to inquire on every detail of my friends’ lives by my overly curious brain… and no one wants that! Personal boundaries. They’re there for a reason. So, it’s certainly for the best that I turn all of that energy into fiction writing!

What about you? Are you a quidnunc?

Tomorrow: R is for Reading Outside Your Genre!

13 thoughts on “Q is for Quidnunc

  1. Insightful post, Alex. I learned a new word! 🙂 Psychology has always interested me, in fact I started out in college with that as my goal.


  2. Love that word! Sounds like a fun one to use even improperly. I sometimes like to hear gossip, if there’s any way it affects me. But I hate hearing people gossip for the sake of gossiping or one-upping the other on their elicit knowledge.
    And I’m an even bigger fan or yours seeing the Zelazny links on the right – Chronicles of Amber is the best series EVER! Can’t count the times I’ve read the whole thing, but primarily the first five. The main reason I love portal type fantasies.
    Marlene at On Writing and Riding


  3. Well, that is a fun word! And I can be a quidnunc at times. I used to work customer service for many years. In that time I learned to read people well. But I like to ‘people watch’. Not a stalker, by any means, but you learn a lot about people by their body language, like you said. It’s great to put into writing!! Dropping by to say hello from the A to Z Challenge! Mel at Writings, Musings and Other Such Nonsense


  4. I’m not much for gossip. I’ve always been sort of the black hole of gossip. Both in high school and college, I was the person everyone talked to because they knew it wouldn’t go anywhere else.

    Degree in psych, here. Dismisser of Freud and, mostly, of Jung. Jung was really more of a philosopher than a psychologist, anyway.


  5. Hi Alex
    I was wondering if i could cover your blog in one of my upcoming posts. I know it’s last minute, but do let me know as soon as you can, as I was planning to post it on Tuesday,as part of the challenge. If you so wish, I can share with you the write-up before posting.


Comments are closed